PORTLAND, Ore. – After camping out at City Hall Tuesday night, activists with Black Lives Matter and Don’t Shoot Portland attended Wednesday morning's Portland City Council meeting to oppose the police union contract.
Click here to watch the meeting.
Don’t Shoot Portland released a statement Wednesday morning which asserts that the police union contract doesn’t do enough for police accountability.
In the statement, Don't Shoot Portland also said they want Portland’s next mayor, Ted Wheeler, to be involved in negotiations instead of current mayor Charlie Hales.
“There has been a lack of transparency in these contract negations and we feel the community has not been adequately heard,” the statement reads. “We will continue to protest as long as we are silenced.”
The city is set to vote on the contract Oct. 5.
Protesters are circulating a petition around city hall and on social media, asking to delay the vote on the police contract.
On Tuesday, Don't Shoot Portland activists arrived at City Hall for a rally and meeting with Hales and Police Chief Mike Marshman, but the mayor moved the meeting to a Portland church.
However, at around 7:15 p.m. Mayor Hales showed up in front of City Hall and talked with protesters for about 45 minutes.
The group planned to discuss their concerns and demands with Mayor Charlie Hales to “ensure black lives matter” in the Portland area, according to a news release and a post on Facebook.
The 3 p.m. Tuesday rally follows a march through Portland last Friday. Protesters entered City Hall and demanded to speak with Hales, who eventually met with three leaders of Don’t Shoot Portland and scheduled a meeting for 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
Hales later moved the community meeting to the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church in North Portland. Don't Shoot Portland said they rejected his attempt to move the meeting away from City Hall, where the mayor originally said he would meet them.
“I’m not interesting in facilitating the occupation of a public building. What I did want to facilitate is a conversation about these issues, and they’re really important," said Hales outside the church. "So we want to separate the question of whether people were going to try to bring a protest inside the building from the actual conversation, which is what I want to have.”
Mayor Hales: I'll have as many conversations about racial issues as Portlanders want. pic.twitter.com/0lq2JgwEIG— Chris Willis (@ChrisWillisKGW) September 27, 2016
Don't Shoot Portland activists said they would stay at City Hall until Mayor Hales returned, even if that meant staying overnight until he shows up on Wednesday. Watch part of the rally here
Hales said he would not return to City Hall until Wednesday. Late Tuesday evening, however, he changed his mind.
The demands by Don’t Shoot Portland include:
- A temporary halt to the Portland Police Association contract talks and making all bargaining sessions public.
- Not allowing officers to review body camera footage before writing reports on incidents that involve use of force.
- Ending what the group calls police brutality at peaceful protests.
- An end to gang enforcement officers being sent to protests.
- More background checks on potential officers.
“We will continue to protest as long as we continue to be marginalized, attacked and unfairly treated by our public servants,” the group said.